We all experience moments that take our breath away.
They can happen anywhere and without warning, from your work cubicle to the gas station on the corner. You just never know when you’ll experience something that truly tugs at your heartstrings and gives you hope for a more accepting humanity.
For one mother in Nashville, Tennessee, one such moment happened during a regular old trip to Target.
Jamie Sumner is a wife, mother, and author. She has three kids, a set of twins and a special needs son named Charlie. Charlie has cerebral palsy, which makes taking him for outings a bit more challenging.
On this particular Target run, Charlie was settled into the shopping cart and Jamie was happily strolling through the aisles when Charlie spotted something extraordinary. “Charlie smiled and clapped and pointed at it. He laughed and signed ‘more’,” Jamie wrote.
She posted a photo of the sign on Instagram with the caption, “Thank you @target for this … you have my whole heart. Keep it coming.”
Target had a sign hanging up that featured a handicapped child using a walker. Charlie recognized that this child was there to represent himself and all of the other kids who are differently-abled.
Jamie immediately broke down in tears,
I watched Charlie watch the sign. I watched the recognition of kin for kin, like for like. And it was beautiful. Yes, I started crying in the aisle. Yes, other people stopped and looked. And then they looked at the sign and they smiled. It was such an unexpected moment of connectedness among strangers in the middle of Target in the middle of a week on an otherwise ordinary day.
Jamie explained that she has spent most of Charlie’s young life ensuring he was included, but Target included him without being asked. As mother and son finished their shopping, they made a few more trips past the sign. Jamie says she hopes that more retailers and businesses will recognize special needs people in their advertising and public messaging.
And who wouldn’t want to put a huge smile on this cutie’s face every single day?!
It sounds like such a small thing, but for us it is a nod from the world that we are being acknowledge and supported. It’s just the beginning, I hope. I hope more disabilities and special needs pop up in clothing ads and commercials and on mainstream tv. But for now, I am so grateful to Target for making a start and for making us feel at home.
Well done, Target! Please share this story to spread Jamie’s message of inclusion even further.